While newer boxing clubs like Rumble and Overthrow may draw the Instagram crowd with their nightclub lighting and electronic dance music, Church Street Boxing, a block from City Hall in Manhattan, is known for its vintage fight posters, seasoned trainers and creaky equipment.
On a recent Monday night, the groans of finance bros, creative professionals and other amateur fighters competed with the sound of leather smacking leather. Here’s how nine fighters got dressed to enter the ring.
CreditNathan Bajar for The New York Times
Occupation: oncology pharmacist
Why this gym?
At first, I came as a way to lose weight, and then once I started doing it I realized what a stress reliever it was. And my trainer has me doing really challenging combinations. It actually helps my memory, so it’s cognitive, too.
How do you dress for this?
Just regular gym gear. I wear the same stuff to Planet Fitness, and I also take dance. The less material, the better.
What about your feet?
I like Asics. It kind of feels like you’re walking on air.
Do you get in the ring and fight?
Yeah. I wanted to be able to defend myself, and my coach said the best way was to spar.
Occupation: finance compliance officer
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned here?
Don’t get hit.
As a compliance officer, do you get hit a lot?
To be honest it helps a lot in terms of maintaining my cool. In some trading environments there’s an antiquated sense of machismo.
Your shirt says: “Muhammad Ali: People’s Champ.”
I respect Muhammad Ali so much. “People’s Champ” says everything about him. Especially in these times: fighting oppression and standing up for what’s right.
Are those real-deal boxing shoes?
Yeah. Look, I’m 49, I’m older than a lot of guys here. When I’m in the ring, I need to feel protected and nimble. The right shoes help.
How long have you been boxing?
Maybe a year, I think?
Your shirt says: “Girl Pwr.” What does that mean for you?
I do boxing and I’m a girl, which I think is pretty cool.
What kind of gloves do you have?
I don’t know what type they are, but they have a skull on them.
Your outfit is very slimming. Tight.
You need to be ready. You need to move lightly.
Why the leggings under your shorts?
I just like them. I could just wear shorts.
What about the shoes?
They’re good for boxing?
For me, yeah.
What are you listening to?
What do you normally listen to?
Senegalese music. Youssou N’Dour.
Occupation: content studio manager
What brought you here?
It’s the best workout I can get.
Your shirt has no sleeves. Was that your doing?
I cut them off. When you have heavy sleeves, it restricts your arm motion a little.
It has these delightful ruby red shoes printed on the front.
This is a visual effects company I used to work with. I don’t know what the red shoes mean. I think it’s a Dorothy thing.
Occupation: boxing trainer
Those do not look like boxing shoes.
No, they are Timb-colored Nike Air Force 1s. They’re my winter boot, but since they’re Nikes, I wear them in the gym. It’s completely fashion over function.
Why the tank top?
When I’m training, I’m sweating and the tank top is the coolest option, which makes no sense because I’m wearing heavy shoes. I wouldn’t train in these sweatpants.
I’d wear something more breathable. But not shorts. When you train, you’re trying to sweat. You’re trying to constantly burn more calories and lose weight.
Tell me about your gloves.
These are basic 14-ounce gloves, for bag work. I’m brand loyal to Winning’s gloves for sparring, but they start at $400.
Occupation: boxing coach
I saw you training. You looked like you were dancing.
Boxing and dance go hand in hand. I love dancing. That’s my other hobby.
Is your bandanna to keep hair out of your eyes, or sweat?
Well, I’m bald, actually. Personally, I like charismatic colors, like orange and purple. Good energy.
What’s the most important thing about wraps?
You want no loss of blood circulation. Protect the knuckles, the wrist and the thumb. But there’s also some smaller joints.
Doesn’t it get hot working out in a sweatshirt?
That’s the point. You want to stay loose and limber, you don’t want to get cold and stiffen up, especially in the breaks between rounds. You want to stay warm.
Occupation: internal auditor
What brings you here?
I had a gym membership for a while and wanted to mix it up, get a full-body workout. I joined in December, and I’ve been getting my butt kicked on a regular basis.
Do your clothes feel loose enough, or are they restrictive?
I usually wear shirts that are elastic, Under Armour type of mesh.
Same as what you’d wear to the gym?
Pretty much. But I’m a rookie here.
Are you wearing knit sneakers, like the Allbirds?
These are Adidas Boosts, but yeah. They have special boxing shoes. These are not them.
Occupation: boxing trainer
I’m very into revolution. Long sleeve in the winter to keep you warm. The hat, too. The gym can be cold in winter.
You have a whole white color scheme going on.
This is my Rivera Boxing hat: “Feel what you’ve been missing.” I’m always matching. My daughter is a fashion designer.
Does she help dress you?
No. I give her ideas.
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